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Posted by nelson on August 07, 2017

The Algarve's hotel association (AHETA) has reported that the effects of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union are taking their toll on Algarve tourism.

Data shows that the number of hotel bookings made by British holidaymakers at regional hotels dropped by 12.6% in July compared to last year, with overall bookings also down from 87.5% to 86.5%.

"Following Brexit, the pound devalued by about 15% and it would be strange if this did not have an effect on the number of British taking holidays here," AHETA’s president Elidérico Viegas told TSF radio.

The association cites official UK data that shows that the number of Brits travelling abroad in May fell 4.6%, a tendency that is “expected to intensify in the near future”.
A few days before these statistics came out, Algarve tourism boss Desidério Silva told O Algarve website that the UK has been “our main market for many decades” and that should not change very much when Brexit finally does move forward.

“The British like the Algarve, the ‘Algarve’ brand is very strong there and the UK will always be our main market, in terms of tourists and expats,” he said.

Silva also said that other markets like the French have been growing, so even if fewer Brits travel to the region, there will be more tourists from other countries.
In fact, the number of German tourists staying at Algarve hotels grew 11.6% last month.

“Brexit did not keep Brits away in 2016”

Meantime, a report by Expresso newspaper entitled ‘Brexit did not keep Brits away from Algarve in 2016’ has highlighted how half of the properties sold in the region’s Golden Triangle (Quinta do Lago, Vale do Lobo and Vilamoura) last year were bought by Brits.

The paper adds that each British property buyer spent an average of €2.1 million in the Algarve last year, nearly double compared to other foreign purchasers.

“It was truly surprising, as after the announcement of Brexit, the threat hung in the air that something could go wrong with a group of buyers who are already ‘historic’ in the Algarve, especially in the segment of luxury properties,” said Ricardo Guimarães, director of real estate magazine Confidencial Imobiliário.

He explained that real estate agents’ “worst fears did not come true” however, and that the forecasts for this year are that the Algarve will continue to “value itself among foreign markets”.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com

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